‘A Bridge Between Us’ created by filmmaker Jonathan Tritton, documents a performance of duets by Contact Dance Company. The film explores what it means for performers to dance together and the skills needed to find a strong connection when making and performing dance. In the film, dancers with and without disabilities share the connection they feel with each other through physical touch and through an invisible connection across the dance floor.
Assam Vivemos is one of the most traditional disability film festivals worldwide, Brazil’s International Disability Film Festival (Assim Vivemos) is a biennial event that takes place in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Brasília, with two full weeks of screenings in each city, always providing all accessibilities: audio-description, sign language in the panels, and subtitles in the films. Known as the pioneer event in Brazil offering audio-description in all sessions, our festival strongly mobilizes the community of people with disability as well as schools and college students, and professionals related to accessibility, inclusion and other issues of people with disability.
We are thrilled that the film we be shown to audiences in Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Brasilia.We hope that those attending the festival and viewing the film enjoy it.
The film can be viewed on our website here
‘Contact Dance Company’ have begun rehearsals for a brand new dance piece entitled ‘Being Seen’, to be premiered at Theatre Severn on July 20th, 2019
Choreographer, Jo Fong, is working with a cast of eight dancers with and without disabilities, to craft this new dance work. Jo, who has worked with international companies such as Ballet Rambert and the Welsh National Opera, has been enjoying day one of rehearsals:
‘It’s so exciting to be at The Hive in Shrewsbury, with Contact Dance Company. It feels like a brand new era for the company- something fresh and energised. I’m finding myself constantly inspired by the dancers’ generosity and creativity’.
Amal Neffi, a company dancer with a disability, reflects on the first day working with the choreographer.
‘We challenged ourselves as dancers, learning how each other move, and building our confidence to work in close contact, supporting, moving and listening to each other.
The new dance, ‘ Being Seen’, will be a treat for Shropshire audiences. Contact Dance Company has built a strong reputation for its powerful brand of contemporary inclusive dance, full of depth and connection. Choreographer Jo Fong wows audiences with her refreshing, energetic and playful dance-making; the combination promises to be a feast for the senses.
Audiences for ‘Being Seen’ performances will be invited to sit close to the action. Shropshire Inclusive Dance co artistic director Ray Jacobs states:
‘It’s really important that audience members see the details of the dance and feel the connection between dancers. The smallest gesture, the qualities of contact between dancers, is a delight to watch. Witnessing the show will be a sensory experience’.
This new dance piece is funded by Arts Council England and Shropshire Council.
Seats for ‘Being Seen’ can be booked via the Theatre Severn box office or online here but hurry, tickets are going fast!
16 dancers joined SiD for the AVS Inclusive Choreographic Lab in June. Dancers travelled from Stoke, Gloucester, Nottingham, Stourbridge, Kidderminster, Telford and small villages surrounding Shropshire to attend the sell out week and what fun we had.
Workshop facilitators Annie Hanauer, Vicky Malin and Sarah Blanc arrived from London bringing a wealth of experience through working inclusively with some of the most established and respected artists and organisations in the contemporary dance world. The common thread between the facilitators was that all three artists had worked with acclaimed Candoco Dance Company.
Each day started with a dance class, rotated between all three dancers. Each facilitator offered their own unique approach to morning class, including taught technical exercises, somatic dance practice approaches and improvisational tasks.
In the afternoons we explored creative choreographic tasks based upon the workshops leader’s interests and their choreographic research. The tasks involved lots of creative play and experimentation, individually and in small groups. There was time to talk, reflect and socialize, a gift that does not happen enough. During the final two days we experimented choreographically with our own artistic ideas.
The week was a rich nurturing experience, feeding the soul, whilst enlivening and revitalizing individual practice. I found total delight in reconnecting with dancing friends and the joy of meeting new people. I loved the diversity of the group, encompassing different backgrounds, ages, experience, genders, heights, and body shapes. The group arrived with various mobility aids, expectations and hopes but all of us were incredibly ‘open’, respectful and willing to take part fully in all the nuggets of ideas, movement explorations and improvisational structures offered. I loved dancing in a large group, as an ensemble, there was so much to feed off and enjoy.
It was wonderful to be approached to host the AVS Lab, SiD leant that there is a need for a workshop of this nature and the experience brings so much to dancers and artists living and working in Shropshire and for those living outside in the surrounding regions. Maybe this is the beginning of a bi-annual opportunity and future collaborations ?
Thank you AVS Lab for this brilliant opportunity.
Rachel Liggitt, SiD Co- Director.
This AVS Lab was supported by Candoco Dance Company, The Place and Arts Council England. Thank you to Basil Houghton Memorial Trust for funding SiD received to host the AVS Lab.
Photography is by Ewen Macintyre.
Join Annie Hanauer, Vicky Malin and Sarah Blanc for a week of exploration and creative development – a chance to meet and work with other dancers to develop your creative skills within an inclusive setting. This immersive week of dance will offer a space for each participant to challenge themselves, strengthen networks and deeply engage with different creative processes. The lab is being held in accessible venues in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
AVS share a foundation of inclusive dance practice from a combined 30 years of experience in the dance world. This LAB series aims to promote the rich and supportive environment AVS have encountered when artists from different backgrounds and experiences come together.
AVS have been holding Labs across the country, each focusing on creative practice from Annie, Vicky or Sarah. Your week with us will include a morning inclusive technique class each day, followed by an afternoon of creative exploration.
Who can book
The Lab is appropriate for emerging dance artists or dance professionals aged 18 and older with and without disabilities, who are interested in exploring dance as an art form.
3 day Technique and Creative process workshop 28th May – 30th May £75
2 day Choreographic workshop 31st May and 1st June £50
5 day Residency (both programmes) 28th May – 1st June £125
Typical day during the AVS Lab
10-11.30am Technique class lead by Annie, Vicky and Sarah
12- 1.30pm Creative process lead by Vicky Malin
2.30-5.30pm Creative process lead by Vicky Malin
Description of morning class
Annie, Vicky and Sarah have brought their diverse interests together to explore inclusivity in technique class and creation. Using set material and improvisation, we will play with articulation, technical exercises and touch, aiming to find both precision and freedom in our dancing. Classes aim to respond to the needs of the group while remaining challenging.
Description of afternoon sessions
Afternoon sessions will consist of creative tasks based on the choreographic research of Vicky Malin. Tasks will include improvisation, engaging with objects, and exploring voice and movement to create solo and group material. There will be opportunities for each lab artist to share what they are passionate about through social events such as a lunch together, a film night or a trip to the local pub.
This lab will look into dance making processes more intensively, giving time for each lab artist to explore, devise, share and reflect on work made during these two days.
Cost & booking options
3 day Technique and creative process workshop 28th May – 30th May £75
2 day Choreographic Lab 31st May and 1st June £50
5 day Residency (both programmes) 28th May – 1st June £125
Please contact Rachel Liggitt to request a booking form and payment instructions at: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone – 07855931214
28th May – 30th May – The Gateway Education and Arts Centre, Chester Street, Shrewsbury SY1 1NB
31st May – 1st June – The Lantern, Meadow Farm Dr, Shrewsbury SY1 4NG.
Both venues are accessible, directions and parking advice will be available with the booking documentation.
Annie, Vicky, and Sarah have worked in inclusive environments with some of the most established and respected artists and organisations in the contemporary dance world. They have come together to explore how working collectively can push their individual and shared artistic practices, and to continue building on their experience from the project ‘AnnieVickySarah Take Space’ in 2017. This project was supported by Candoco Dance Company, The Place and Arts Council England, and was centered on creating & presenting 3 new works in progress, and teaching accessible professional classes and workshops. Facilitating classes and workshops was a fundamental part of the process and for AVS, this became an area deserving deeper attention. AVS are passionate about creative development and facilitate high-quality explorations of performance with inclusion and diversity at the centre of their approach.
Who we are
Annie Hanauer danced with Candoco Dance Company from 2008-2014. She now works in the UK and France as a performer with Rachid Ouramdane/CCN2 Grenoble and Emanuel Gat Dance, and initiates her own creative projects and teaching as an independent, international artist.
Vicky Malin performed with Candoco Dance Company from 2008-2013. She is currently working with artist Claire Cunningham in a new piece called ‘Thank you very much’ in Glasgow. She is a certified life coach and recently mentored an emerging inclusive company in Kiev, Ukraine. In 2017 she gained a first class Masters in Creative Practice at Trinity Laban and Independent Dance.
Sarah Blancis an award-winning performer and choreographer based in London. She has worked across all areas of Candoco’s education programme since 2007, and is co-leader of the Candoco Youth Company at The Place. She is Artistic Director of Moxie Brawl, an all-female inclusive dance theatre company that has toured successfully since 2014.
Jo Fong invited the dancers into her physical, energetic, and dynamic style of dance.
How close can we dance together? How small can our dances be?
How much noise can we make while we dance. Can we all dance in this tiny space here?
Jo’s invitations to move were enthusiastically accepted by the company dancers.
Dances of an incredible range were explored over the weekend, subtle small dances in pairs, wild chaotic dancers with the whole company in small spaces, moments of quiet tenderness, lots of laughter and applause, the work was beautiful, powerful and funny to witness.
Jo Fong is a director, choreographer and performer working in dance, film, theatre, opera and live art. Her eclectic career includes performances with DV8 Physical Theatre, Rosas (Belgium) and Rambert Dance Company.
Talking about her work Jo states’
‘The work creates shared experiences, as an audience member, performer or as participant. It seeks to invite an open exchange and immediacy through arts creation and opportunities that aim to promote and support inclusivity and the value of art to everyone’
Jo Fong and Contact Dance Company are a great match. Jo, during the workshop shared her observation of the incredible physical and creative connection shared between Contact Dance Company dancers. Jo likes to see the work she is making with Contact Dance Company, with all its diversity, connection, humanness and dynamism, as the future, the new normal.
SiD are seeking a Treasurer to join their board, could you be part of the only inclusive dance company in Shropshire?
Shropshire Inclusive Dance (SiD) has an established board of directors who have the skills and expertise to drive the development of this company. We are now looking for a treasurer to join our board. This is a voluntary position requiring commitment and an interest in the arts.
To be our Treasurer you must be a finance professional who has knowledge of charity governance. As part of our board you will be joining a friendly team who are committed to supporting an ambitious local organisation. You will be supported in your role as Treasurer through training, away days and assistance from the company accountant.
We would love to hear from anybody who is interested in the role, please get in touch!
01743 234 976